Are you looking for ways to get more exercise? We‘re all aware of the fact that getting regular exercise is important, but why exactly is it important? Our bodies are designed to be active, but that doesn‘t mean that everybody has to go to the gym and lift weights. It‘s easy to cave in to the pressure to do the same thing everybody else is doing and that‘s why you should choose responsibly. There are so many different ways to get some exercise that you should definitely find something you enjoy! Read on to learn more.

Why Is It Important to Exercise?

Regular exercise contributes to a healthy body and gives you energy, while also reducing the risk of various diseases and helping us cope with the tasks of everyday life. Furthermore, exercising has a positive effect on mental health: the body releases endorphins that trigger a positive feeling and reduce anxiety. Also, exercising promotes a positive self-image. Last but not least, getting regular exercise improves our sleep, which is the foundation of good health.

Something Is Better Than Nothing

In my clinic, I‘ve always recommended exercise and it doesn‘t really matter what kind of exercise you choose, as long as you do something. You don‘t have to go to the gym or start doing CrossFit, simply going on walks can be enough and it‘s safer when it comes to risk of injury. What matters is finding out what you enjoy the most and being consistent. I recommend 30 – 40 minutes of exercise every day, but 10 minutes is always better than nothing. Try out new ways to exercise and find what you like the most, something you‘re excited about every day!

1. Going on Walks

Simplicity can be the key to success. Going on a nice walk is underestimated, especially for those who struggle with knee, back or back problems. Walking improves overall fitness, heart health, posture and reduces the risk of cancer. It can also improve mental health by improving mood, reducing depression and increasing creativity by opening up the flow of ideas. Small things make a big difference – for many years I‘ve had a habit of parking far away from the grocery store, which forces me to walk more. I especially recommend going on walks out in nature and using them as meditation (without looking at your phone while walking!). However, walking can be downright dangerous in winter when it‘s slippery outside as it is often in Iceland. If you‘re determined you can use traction cleats, but you can also try an inside sport instead such as dancing or yoga.

2. Yoga and Tai Chi

Yoga is so much more than physical exercise. Alongside the physical side, you work on the spiritual side of health through meditation and breathing exercises. With regular practice you‘ll improve all aspects of health, reduce anxiety and boost your self-confidence. Yoga improves flexibility, which a crucial part of a healthy body, while building strength. Furthermore, yoga reduces inflammation and improves posture. Tai Chi is yoga‘s less famous cousin, but you can reap similar benefits from it. Originally, Tai Chi is a Chinese martial art and it can be described as meditation with movement.

3. Great Kitchen Exercises

I came across this great doctor the other day: Dr. Rangan Chatterjee. He‘s a popular physician (and podcaster and television presenter) in the UK who came up with an easy way to incorporate strength training into your daily routine. How often do we find ourselves in the kitchen throughout the day, for example waiting for something to boil? Now you can use that time more wisely. Click here to take a look at the 5-minute kitchen workout!

4. Dancing

Dancing can be turned into a full-body workout and is a great way to exercise muscles that we don‘t use day to day. Dancing improves your memory, focus, balance and coordination, all while strengthening your heart. One of the main advantages of dancing is how accessible it is as a workout. You can dance alone at home or join a dance class. Try out different music and dance styles and find out what you like!

6. Swimming

If you live in a country like Iceland, where you have access to warm outdoor swimming pools (with hot tubs), consider yourself lucky because it‘s a luxury! Swimming is a good full-body workout and it‘s suitable for those who can‘t do other exercises because of injuries. Go swimming and then relax in the hot tub for muscle relaxation and stress relief.

My Favorite Ways to Exercise

I like going on regular walks for about 30-60 minutes but when the weather is bad (as it often is in Iceland!) I prefer to go swimming. I usually swim 1/2 km two to three times a week. But my absolute favorite is dancing! That way I can exercise without even noticing because I‘m having so much fun. I simply turn on my favorite music and then dance how I want in my living room, which my partner finds quite entertaining. Alternatively, you can find dance classes on Youtube to follow. Here‘s one of the playlists I like to dance to. I usually dance for 40 – 50 minutes per day but I recommend starting out with 3 – 4 songs and building up the endurance for longer sessions.

There are countless ways to get some exercise, but the most important step is simply choosing to move your body over a sedentary lifestyle. Walk instead of driving, take the stairs instead of the elevator and bike to work. Small changes can make a big difference. Remember that the next time you go for a walk!

About the Author

Anna Rósa is a medical herbalist and author of the bestselling book Icelandic Herbs and Their Medicinal Uses. She’s the CEO and founder of Anna Rósa Skincare and a member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists in UK. It’s the oldest herbalist institute in the world, founded in 1894.

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Anna Rósa CEO and Founder of Anna Rósa Skincare